Shalala is a 2010 Kentucky-bred mare named after the president of the University of Miami. She was bred and raced by Hurricane Boys Racing, a group of owners which names all of its horses after the alma mater of their managing partner, Alex Zito. The classy bay mare raced 19 times under the tutelage of trainer Nick Zito, ending her career with three wins. Upon retirement from racing, Shalala’s owners sent her to ReRun Thoroughbred Adoption to learn how to be a riding horse.

Shalala did not spend much time at ReRun though, being adopted almost as soon as she arrived at the farm. Mackenzie K., a stand-out junior rider, adopted the mare sight unseen, having only viewed pictures and a description of her online. “With such an absolutely wonderful adoption program backing her, I figured it was worth a shot,” Mackenzie says of “Birdie” who was renamed to reflect her sire, Birdstone. Mackenzie has started to retrain Birdie and “she has taken well to dressage and jumping quite easily.” The pair are working up to competing in eventing this year and Mackenzie thinks, “With such wonderful lineage, and conformation… she could be one of the best!”

ReRun Thoroughbred Adoption was founded in 1996 with the mission of retraining Thoroughbreds to pursue second careers after racing. ReRun is based in Suffolk, VA and was accredited by the TAA in 2013. Learn more about their program at:

The Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance (TAA) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization who accredits and funds organizations that provide aftercare for Thoroughbreds. For more information on the TAA, visit: